WeView Verdict: FIFA 15

Despite being the biggest selling game in the UK last year, the response to FIFA 15 in this week’s WeView was much less than that of Destiny, with only several responses to choose from.

The verdict? It’s not as good as you expect, it seems that many people were underwhelmed by the offerings of this year’s instalment in the football series, so let’s get on with it…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSedwXSADf4

FIFA Pro Clubs – absent from the last generation versions – was the only redeeming factor for JustTaylorNow: “it’s not perfect but it’s brilliant, it keeps me coming back.” Taylor didn’t see any improvements over FIFA 14 though, with some glaring issues returning.

“I think the movement of the ball is the biggest difference compared to FIFA 14” said double-o-dave – as it should be, ball momentum is definitely something they tried to improve with this instalment. Unfortunately, the new animations “look a bit rushed and unfinished” which makes the visuals seem almost like a “leap backwards”.

BrendanCalls simply stated “If you want a football simulator by PES, if you want a fun football game buy FIFA”, a statement which was echoed in other comments. Psychobudgie even called PES a “fun and an excellent approximation of the game” in comparison to FIFA.

As someone who doesn’t usually buy FIFA games, coruscant loved FIFA 15 – perhaps because they didn’t have the direct comparison to 14 which seemed to affect some opinions. “I loved it. I loved the improved graphics, especially the crowds, and the physics, especially how players battle for the ball and can tug each other’s shirts etc – much more realistic.”

Cam_manutd was very disappointed with the game: “It is a lazy effort from EA in which their solid foundations built with Fifa 09 are starting to wane. Pro Clubs and Ultimate Team remain to be among the best football modes out there. But for single minded players, Fifa is severely lacking.”

After reading the other comments, double-o-dave wanted to add to his opinion a bit, and came up with this summary:

“It seems you may as well stick with FIFA 14 if you’ve already got it. I’m pretty sure these were my thoughts when I first got ’15, might explain why I’ve hardly played it. I can’t really see the major upgrade that this was suppose to be over ’14.

So, it’s a bit of an underwhelming verdict for FIFA 15, and given how much people discussed the brilliance of PES, it looks like we’ll have to add that to the poll and see how it fares. There were two Buy It votes, two Sale It votes, one for Plus It, and one for Avoid It this week. We’ve updated the poll below so you can get choosing next week’s title, and we’ve got Surgeon Simulator coming up tomorrow.

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6 Comments

  1. I missed this one. I would have said Buy It though. It’s probably a bit ignorant of me to say, since I’ve not tried Pro Evo this year, but FIFA 15 is so good that there is no reason for me to even try anything else, I’m quite happy with it (apart from one VERY annoying trophy). I should probably give Pro Evo a go though.

    On the surface there doesn’t seem like many improvements from FIFA 14, but the number of small improvements and tweaks accumulate to a much better experience – such as all stadiums (inc. chants/advert boards), pitch “damage”, new animations, faster menus, improved commentary. My only criticism is probably the ease of scoring from distance, although I believe the GKs were patched to be improved.

    • I actually forgot about the pitch damage. That is one of the bonuses over ’14 I guess, although the fact I forgot about it doesn’t really say a lot for it. ;)

  2. Oops, I forgot about this one. I’ll answer it here and pretend I didn’t.

    I’d without doubt say Buy It- it’s the best football game out there, despite seemingly the entire gaming community holding this to a far higher standard than Pro Evo (which, while it has improved massively is still not close to its heyday, with passing in the game still not right). Anyway, this is about FIFA, not Pro Evo.

    There have been large changes to FIFA 15 compared to 14. The goalkeeping AI has completely been rewritten, and it has had a dramatic effect on gameplay- good goalkeepers are truly better, much more than they ever were before. De Gea has his nigh-unbeatable reflexes, Neuer and Courtois are the huge men who just swat the ball out of the air.

    An even larger change has been seen outfield however- the ridiculously overpowered heading from FIFA 14 (remember last year when every second goal would be from a header off a cross?) has been much reduced- unless your striker has found space, you are going to find scoring that header extremely difficult, much like real life. The ‘kick-off goal’ where at kick off a player could just lump the ball straight down the pitch so that a pacy striker could collect it and score is gone.

    Defending requires actual effort now. In previous FIFAs, holding R1 + X would lead to an attacker being surrounded and automatically tackled by up to 4 defenders, only one of which wouldn’t be AI controlled. It was unfair. Now, the game punishes this much more- an out of position centre back is the most dangerous thing which you can do in this game. Manual defending and tactical position is very important (although it was even more so before they patched the game to bring back a limited version of the old R1 + X after many players complained that they couldn’t defend as it was too hard).

    The biggest change is in dribbling. It is vastly improved (and aided by the no longer automatic defending). Ball physics, bounces and control have been changed too, you can see this in every game. A player with high dribbling and agility is now lethal whether or not they have a high pace stat as they will turn those defenders inside and out, and punish those out of position. You don’t need tricks to go on a long dribble anymore- you just need to look at positioning. There is a slight downside to improved ball control- finesse shots are deadly from distance. If your opponent has a player with high shooting, do not stand off them if they are in a central area 30 yards out. And remember to put a man on the post behind the wall at a free kick.

    Finally stamina has a much more noticeable effect on the game. In FIFA 14 it was possible to go through an entire match holding down the pace button and your players would still be capable of sprinting by the time the match ended. Here they’ll get small injuries, they’ll tire out, they’ll get slower over the course of the game. A good substitute is more important than ever.

    Simply put, FIFA 15 is now more realistic than FIFA has ever been, due to a series of tweaks and larger improvements. I can’t really see what there is to complain about. Even something as small as team management has been completely redone, allowing for easy access to custom tactics to ensure your team plays as you want it to.

    • “It’s the best football game out there” bold statement, “fifa 15 is now more realistic than fifa has ever been” realistic based on what not football that’s for sure

      • Simple mechanics such as ball movement, AI, ball control and passing (it’s far too slow in Pro Evo, the ball feels very heavy and moves slowly even in rain) are still better in FIFA as compared to Pro Evo. Animations are more fluid and varied, allowing for more fluid gameplay overall. These are vital parts of making a realistic football game.

        And that’s before you factor in licenses, menus and presentation. Based on football, FIFA is a better game, although I’m glad to see the gap narrowing again. I used to love Pro Evo on PS2 and PSP.

      • Agree with you completely. Fifa is to a realistic simulation of football as Call of Duty is to being a realistic simulation of being in the Army.

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